Work Smart Club

Dr. Cynthia Howard

The official Work Smart Club podcast where leaders learn to unlock their potential and activate their purpose. Inside of you is power – power to transform your world. The daily grind and distraction erodes your power and destroys this potential. The Work Smart Podcast is all about you and providing strategies – you can use right now – to leverage your leadership. If you have wanted a leadership coach whispering success secrets in your ear, then tune in and listen up. Discover why thousands of leaders have turned to Dr. Cynthia Howard for coaching and all things leadership. Her specialty is breaking down big ideas and strategies into actionable steps designed to get you results without the pressure. Learn what it means to work smart and how you can activate this high-performance principle in your life.

Start Here
EP 32: WAIT, Why Am I Talking? (Radical Ways To Manage Communication in a Digital World)
02-11-2022
EP 32: WAIT, Why Am I Talking? (Radical Ways To Manage Communication in a Digital World)
Most of us would agree that email is not always an effective way to communicate. Of the 300 billion emails that go out every day, a staggering 55% is spam. Even the emails that we opt into are usually inconsequential and only serve to distract us. And yet this mode of communication continues to dominate our working lives, with the average office worker receiving roughly 120 emails a day and researchers estimating that a full 28% of our working hours are spent on email alone. But what if we could challenge this outdated mode of communication? In today’s episode, we discuss the rise of email, how the age of information overload is affecting us, and how we can radically rethink communication in the workplace. We delve into harmful email practices, how to be intentional about the emails you send, and the importance of building a sense of connection in the workplace. For a new perspective on email and radical ways to manage communication in the digital age, make sure you tune in today!Key Points From This Episode:An overview of the current state of email communication. How communication in the workplace has changed since the 1950s.Examples of how we are living in an age of information overload.How information overload is affecting our cognition.The important role that data visualization plays in managing information.The proliferation of emails in the workplace. How email steals your time and distracts workers.Why email harms momentum and dulls your thinking.How we can rethink communication in the workplace.Advice on how to manage email in the workplace.How to be intentional about emails.Radical new ways to manage communication in the office.Why having friendships in the workplace is beneficial.How to discern which email practices are productive and which are destructive.Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Cynthia Howard on LinkedInWork Smart ConsultingWork Smart Club Network
EP 32: WAIT, Why Am I Talking? (Radical Ways To Manage Communication in a Digital World)
02-11-2022
EP 32: WAIT, Why Am I Talking? (Radical Ways To Manage Communication in a Digital World)
Most of us would agree that email is not always an effective way to communicate. Of the 300 billion emails that go out every day, a staggering 55% is spam. Even the emails that we opt into are usually inconsequential and only serve to distract us. And yet this mode of communication continues to dominate our working lives, with the average office worker receiving roughly 120 emails a day and researchers estimating that a full 28% of our working hours are spent on email alone. But what if we could challenge this outdated mode of communication? In today’s episode, we discuss the rise of email, how the age of information overload is affecting us, and how we can radically rethink communication in the workplace. We delve into harmful email practices, how to be intentional about the emails you send, and the importance of building a sense of connection in the workplace. For a new perspective on email and radical ways to manage communication in the digital age, make sure you tune in today!Key Points From This Episode:An overview of the current state of email communication. How communication in the workplace has changed since the 1950s.Examples of how we are living in an age of information overload.How information overload is affecting our cognition.The important role that data visualization plays in managing information.The proliferation of emails in the workplace. How email steals your time and distracts workers.Why email harms momentum and dulls your thinking.How we can rethink communication in the workplace.Advice on how to manage email in the workplace.How to be intentional about emails.Radical new ways to manage communication in the office.Why having friendships in the workplace is beneficial.How to discern which email practices are productive and which are destructive.Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Cynthia Howard on LinkedInWork Smart ConsultingWork Smart Club Network
EP 31: How To Build Grit and Tenacity in Your Team
26-10-2022
EP 31: How To Build Grit and Tenacity in Your Team
How can you lead a company if your employees are constantly positioned with one foot in and one foot out? How can grit help you to fortify yourself as a leader? On this episode of Work Smart Club, Dr. Cynthia Howard shares strategies aimed at building grit and tenacity in your teams. We talk about the dilution of vision and how leading without vision can impact the outcomes you are working towards. Listeners will hear about the relationship between grit and flow and how grit can enhance your ability to focus. Dr. Howard also discusses why we should be working towards building a continuously learning culture rather than a constantly upgrading culture where we throw out what doesn’t work and trade in for the newer model. Let’s focus on building cultures and employees with grit and tenacity so that leaders and teams can find success! Don’t miss out, tune in now!Key Points From This Episode:How Grit and Flow are similar but different.How building grit and tenacity in your team will help you [as a leader].A short story on the impact of having grit as a characteristic. How grit is the muscle that makes courage work.Research on grit; characteristics and skills associated with having grit.Grit and hiring: consider rethinking grit when hiring employees.The relationship between flow and grit.How grit can help with focus and ultimately satisfaction. Why, as leaders, we need to stop letting outside influence dilute our vision. Understanding what vision is.Why failure doesn’t mean you should stop.A note to leaders!The intention behind having grit. How to unify around one purpose.Four questions to understand your employees' experience at work.Why you need to let your team figure out how to solve their own problems.The importance of holding regular debriefs with your teams.What review processes should and should not look like during your debriefing sessions.How support can help build grit.Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Grit by Angela DuckworthCynthia Howard on LinkedInWork Smart ConsultingWork Smart Club Network
EP 30: How Can Leaders Improve Their Team's Relationships at Work
19-10-2022
EP 30: How Can Leaders Improve Their Team's Relationships at Work
One of the defining characteristics of the era in which we currently find ourselves is increased worry, sadness, and loneliness. This trend was already appearing before the arrival of the pandemic but was undoubtedly enhanced by the move to a remote landscape and a general loss of human connection at work and beyond. We have seen a rise in dissatisfaction in the workplace, signified most starkly by the great resignation, and this has shown up in all levels of leadership and employment. The sad truth is that unhappy people perform very differently from satisfied employees, and lowered optimism and confidence can drastically damage the health and success of any professional environment. So what are we to do to tackle this emotional component of our workplaces? In today's episode, listeners will get a number of pointers for bolstering the emotional state of a team, and some practical and simple solutions for this fundamental problem. It is important to remember that leaders can only be as influential as the trust they have built and that nurturing commitment between team members can have a huge impact in the long run. Tune in to hear what you can do today to make a difference!Key Points From This Episode:The natural flow of emotions and their huge impact on our actions and decisions. How to respond to negative emotions in practical and proactive ways. Why journalling can help us process and manage difficult feelings.  Applying the power of journalling in a team setting. The role of leaders in caring and connecting with their team of employees. Why the current unchartered climate is posing new challenges.Unpacking the loneliness issue and its main contributing factors and solutions.  Team activities that can help build better understanding and communication.Tools for collaboration and how this boosts problem-solving.Coaching for your team and the impact this can have on energy levels and momentum. Introducing the Five 'S' initiative from the Lean Six Sigma framework. Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Anne FrankCynthia Howard on LinkedInWork Smart ConsultingWork Smart Club Network
EP 29: How Leaders Build Resilience in This Tumultuous Climate
12-10-2022
EP 29: How Leaders Build Resilience in This Tumultuous Climate
Welcome back to the Work Smart Club, we’re thrilled to have you with us! Today, we will be discussing how to be a resilient leader in order to coach your team effectively. We talk about how being in survival mode has forced us to approach work differently and how some leaders are ignoring what leadership is actually about. People need to be inspired, not managed, and cultivating resilience can motivate people to achieve their best. Leaders need to establish an overriding goal, and this could be a way of activating the forward-focused mindset that is resilience. You’ll hear all about the Work Smart Club Network’s Resilience Course and why you, as a leader, need to manage your energy, awareness, mindset, relationships, and flow. If you work on it every single day, you will build in yourself a resilience that will allow you to stay focused, even in times of heightened confusion. We can’t wait for you to tune in and learn with us today!Key Points From This Episode:Introducing today’s topic: resilient leadership.What it means to be in survival mode. Why there is a need for us to work differently.How leadership theories hold people back from thinking about what leadership actually is. Why building relationships is an intrinsic characteristic of good leadership. What leaders are supposed to be doing versus what they actually do. The difference between managing people and managing processes/problems. How resilience can be cultivated and used to inspire people. Resilience as a forward-focused mindset. Why a leader needs to establish a higher purpose and singular goal, and how this activates resilience.The Work Smart Club Network’s Resilience Course and the five-level resilience pyramid.  Managing your energy, awareness, mindset, relationships, and flow. Resilience as a strategy that needs to be worked on constantly. Slowing down our internal dialogue in order to be more effective. How resilience allows us to stay focused amidst confusion. Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Cynthia Howard on LinkedIn Work Smart Club Episode 26: Let’s Talk Flow – What It is and How to Get More of It Work Smart ConsultingWork Smart Club Network
EP 28: Meeting Makeover: Tips to Increase Energy and Effectiveness in Your Meeting
28-09-2022
EP 28: Meeting Makeover: Tips to Increase Energy and Effectiveness in Your Meeting
Today in the Work Smart Club, we are giving your meetings a makeover. In this episode, we discuss some studies that show that meetings are often not that productive, the number one reason meetings fail, and why meetings require planning and a clear goal and outcome. We also talk about why having a meeting to convey information is a terrible idea, why people need to know the reason for the meeting they are attending, how to spell out the desired outcome of the meeting, and the importance of facilitating the sharing of ideas. Next, we go through some tips that you can use to engage people in meetings before looking at why you should get the ‘negative’ out of the way first. We even discuss how to time manage meetings and why you should not allow people into a meeting if they arrive late. Finally, we share some unusual suggestions that will refresh your meetings and allow for the flow of innovative ideas. So, to get some valuable tips on how to make your meetings more effective, tune in now!Key Points From This Episode:Studies that show that meetings aren’t that productive. Examples of different types of meetings. When meetings are counterproductive. The importance of having a goal and outcome for meetings. Why meetings require planning. Why having a meeting to convey information is not helpful.The number one reason meetings fail: they lack clarity. Why meeting attendees need to know why the meeting matters. The importance of facilitating the sharing of ideas in a meeting.How to spell out the desired objective of a meeting. Five top tips you can use to engage people in the first five minutes of a meeting. The importance of putting a time limit on a meeting. Why staff members who arrive late for a meeting shouldn’t be allowed in. The benefits of walking meetings. Why holding a meeting during an activity can facilitate new ideas. The value in taking risks when it comes to meetings.Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Cynthia Howard on LinkedInWork Smart ConsultingWork Smart Club Network
EP 27: What To Do About Gossip (Especially When It’s About You!)
21-09-2022
EP 27: What To Do About Gossip (Especially When It’s About You!)
Welcome to another episode of the Work Smart Club podcast. Today we discuss all things gossip and how to handle it; particularly when it’s about you. We look into the interesting origin of gossip, what it is exactly, its damaging consequences, and why it is a symptom of a bigger problem that needs to be addressed. Gossip is not something you can always control, but today we share how you can make a difference and stop contributing to it by saying no to being a passive listener. We also discuss the importance of opening the lines of communication before looking at what to do when the gossip is about you. Cynthia reminds us that we are each responsible for our own emotions and in order to display emotional intelligence, we need to be in control of how we demonstrate those emotions. Lastly, we talk about how leaders should create a culture of open discussion and honesty in order to reject gossip in the working environment. To hear all this and more, tune in now! Key Points From This Episode:Where gossip originated from. The damaging consequences gossip carries. What exactly gossip is. How you can make a difference and stop contributing to gossip. Why being a passive listener to gossip is just as bad as gossiping. Cynthia shares a story of recent tension in her workplace. What you do when the gossip is about you.The importance of opening the lines of communication. The importance of keeping your emotions in check when dealing with conflict. Why we’re responsible for how we feel and demonstrate feelings: emotional intelligence. Why leaders need to get comfortable with dealing with conflict directly. How leaders can create a culture of openness and honesty. Why gossip is a symptom.Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Cynthia Howard on LinkedInWork Smart ConsultingWork Smart Club Network
EP 26: Let’s Talk Flow – What It Is and How to Get More Of It
14-09-2022
EP 26: Let’s Talk Flow – What It Is and How to Get More Of It
Have you found yourself procrastinating on the things you need to get done? Or perhaps you try and do everything at once so you finish faster? Today on the Work Smart Club, we are discussing what flow is and how to get more of it! Tuning in, you’ll hear all about what flow is, why it is an effortless state of being, how you know you’re experiencing it, and why it is so important to find meaning in every single task you do in order to have flow. We also break down the three main conditions you need to focus on in order to get into flow before talking about what blocks flow. You will learn about how to create an environment conducive to flow if you are a leader, the importance of being a good listener, and why you should never multitask. Finally, we delve into why you should never resist the things on your to-do list! Thank you for joining us!Key Points From This Episode:A definition of what ‘flow’ is. Why flow is an effortless state of being. How you know you’re experiencing flow. The importance of finding meaning in your job. The three main conditions you want to focus on in order to get into flow. What blocks flow. Why you need to consider how to create an environment conducive to flow as a leader.The importance of becoming a good listener. Why you need to learn to single task. The importance of not resisting what you need to get done. Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Cynthia Howard on LinkedInWork Smart ConsultingWork Smart Club Network
EP 25: From Expert to Leader: It is an Inside Job
07-09-2022
EP 25: From Expert to Leader: It is an Inside Job
We’re back with the Work Smart Club and, today, we are sticking with last week’s theme of progressing into a new role with a new emphasis on transitioning from an expert to a leader. Becoming a leader requires a unique set of skills and a common misconception is that, as a leader, you can always do things your way. We discuss how leaders need to learn how to actively listen, why they must set the stage for others to shine, and why training for mid-level leaders is essential, as well as why it’s important to understand that the change starts with you. Seeing negative experiences as adventures can help unlock your true potential, and we learn that making the transition into a leader is a matter of changing your mindset. Your host lays down some practical advice for progressing from expert to leader, plus some tips for finding your courage, being in control of yourself before leading others, listening more and reacting less, and  being comfortable with the unknown. For more on how embracing uncertainty can help you to build trust with your team, tune in today! Key Points From This Episode:The transition from expert to leader as an inside job. How leadership is a combination of a unique set of skills. The misconception of getting to do things your way as a leader. Why experts need to know how to ask questions and leaders need to learn how to listen.Leaders setting the stage and preparing the way for others to shine. Why training and coaching for mid-level managers is essential. Understanding that the change starts within you. Seeing negative experiences as adventures, not setbacks, to help unlock your potential. Transitioning into a leader as a matter of changing your mindset. Practical advice for progressing from expert to leader. Getting out of your comfort zone and finding your courage.How a leader needs to be in control of themselves before asking people to follow them.Why a leader should listen more, react less, and set goals for mutual understanding.The importance of being comfortable with change, obstacles, and not knowing everything. Building trust with your team by embracing uncertainty. Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Cynthia Howard on LinkedInWork Smart ConsultingWork Smart Club Network
EP 24: Leverage Your Past. Do Not Revive It
31-08-2022
EP 24: Leverage Your Past. Do Not Revive It
Today on the Work Smart club we talk about transitioning into a new role and why it’s important to leverage your past rather than reviving it. In this new, digital age, we need new ways of thinking about work, leadership, and the common traps that we fall into when entering a new position. We discuss why you shouldn’t push for solutions without fully understanding the problem, how to avoid falling into familiar traps, clarity as a lever to avoid jumping to solutions, and how to develop mindful attention through self-awareness. Optimism is a vehicle for bringing your past confidence into your present and it can help with developing important problem-solving skills. You’ll come to understand why past victories should stay in the past, why building relationships is as important as developing strategies, and why learning and revising are essential skills to carry with you in this new era post “the great disruption.“ Be sure to tune in. Key Points From This Episode:Why it’s important to leverage your past and how to bring your future into your present. How a renowned problem-solver flopped at his new role of manager while trying to revive his past.Why we need new ways of thinking about work and leadership. Common traps that people fall into when transitioning into a new role. Why you shouldn’t jump to solutions without fully understanding the problem. How thinking that you know what the problem is may lead to more problems. What you can do to avoid falling into these traps. Finding clarity in a pressure situation as a lever to avoid jumping to solutions. Developing mindful attention and agility through self-awareness.A reminder of the wonders of optimism. Bringing your past confidence into your present and developing problem-solving skills. Why what has worked in the past will probably not work in the present. How it can be detrimental to focus on strategy rather than building relationships.Learning and revising as essential skills in this new, digital age. The Quickstart Membership and other free resources that are available on the Work Smart Consulting website.Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Cynthia Howard on LinkedInWork Smart ConsultingWork Smart Club Network
EP 23: Persistence: What Is It And When Do You Pivot?
10-08-2022
EP 23: Persistence: What Is It And When Do You Pivot?
Welcome back to another episode of the Work Smart Club. The idea of persistence is often mixed up with tenacity. Today we explore why persistence and tenacity are different, why persistence and optimism should be core competencies, the dangers of pessimism, and the importance of focus and incubating your thoughts. We also look at some examples of persistence in organizations; including Kelly Johnson’s famous project. Lastly, we talk about how to know when to pivot, the importance of feedback and planning, and why progress is one of our biggest motivators. Join us today to learn about when to persist and when to pivot!Key Points From This Episode:What we think of when we hear the word ‘persistence.’ How you know when to pivot/do something else. Why persistence is not tenacity. Why learning is persistence and why not learning from mistakes is tenacity, not persistence. We share a story about persistence and compare how two hotels handled their problems.Why persistence and optimism need to be core competencies.Why pessimism doesn’t generate success because it doesn’t allow for persistence. The importance of incubating your thoughts. An example of persistence and focus as displayed by Kelly Johnson.Knowing when to quit and when to pivot. The importance of the feedback you get during projects. Why persistence is enhanced by feedback and planning.Why progress is one of our biggest motivators. Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Kelly JohnsonCynthia Howard on LinkedInWork Smart ConsultingWork Smart Club Network
EP 22: R.E.S.P.E.C.T: A Different Take On What It Means To Me
03-08-2022
EP 22: R.E.S.P.E.C.T: A Different Take On What It Means To Me
Aretha Franklin had the right idea about respect when she said “find out what it means to me!” Today on the Work Smart Club, we are looking at a different take on what respect means to us in the workplace. We discuss why respect needs a refresh and how a lack thereof affects productivity and profit. We also delve into a few definitions of what respect is and recognize that we can all find something in someone that we admire. You’ll hear all about how respect can prevent escalations of conflict, why respect and liking someone are not mutually exclusive, the importance of getting to know your colleagues and maintaining healthy standards of relationships, and the dangers of indifference in the workplace. Finally, we challenge you to define what respect means to your organization and make it a part of your company culture and work standard! To hear all this and more, tune in now!Key Points From This Episode:Why respect in the workplace needs a refresh. How lack of respect in the workplace affects productivity and profit. We define what respect is: the desire to elevate a relationship through admiration. Why we can all find something in someone that we can admire. How we can acknowledge small yet powerful behaviors. How respect (assuming people act with good intentions) can prevent escalations of conflict.Why you can respect someone who shows you a lack of respect.  Whether or not you can respect someone without liking them.The importance of getting to know your colleagues. Why negativity is so contagious. Why gossip needs to be shut down in the workplace. Why you have to choose to respect someone and cannot be forced to. How indifference has taken over many departments and organizations. Why the standards of relationships at work should be healthy. Why liking someone and respecting someone is not mutually exclusive. The importance of the ability to make progress and why respect is imperative to do this. We challenge you to make respect an operational standard and core competency!  Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Cynthia Howard on LinkedInWork Smart ConsultingWork Smart Club Network
EP 21: Be the Leader the Situation Needs (Not All Things to All People)
27-07-2022
EP 21: Be the Leader the Situation Needs (Not All Things to All People)
If done right, leadership can be one of the most rewarding opportunities of all time. Being an authentic leader requires introspection and invites you to continuously learn and grow on the job. However, so many leaders do themselves the disservice of getting caught up in the theory and, in an attempt to be everything to everyone, settle on a singular leadership style that most likely won’t translate into every given situation. Today, we delve into the traps leaders can fall into by committing to the theory of leadership, rather than developing an authentic, versatile leadership style. You’ll discover what it means to be a situational leader who hones in on their unique strengths and personality to build trust and adapt to whatever situation may arise! Tune in to find out how to stop being all things to all people and, instead, become a credible leader who knows how to set boundaries, plan, and adapt.Key Points From This Episode:What a situational leader is and why you should aim to be one!How to draw from various leadership models and apply them to your unique situation.The importance of developing an authentic leadership style.How the servant leadership style is often misunderstood and misrepresented.A healthy alternative to servant leadership.How the digital age has accelerated operations and affected leadership.How to stop being all things to all people!Leadership as action, not theory.The intrinsic role of personality in leadership.Debunking common misconceptions about the goal of leadership.How to use your unique strengths to build trust.What makes a leader credible and trustworthy.The two most important EQ skills in leadership: assertiveness and independent thinking.Listening as a problem-solving tool.The importance of introspection and modeling your expectations as a leader.Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Cynthia Howard on LinkedInWork Smart ConsultingWork Smart Club Network
EP 19: Freedom. What Are You Declaring Over Your Life?
13-07-2022
EP 19: Freedom. What Are You Declaring Over Your Life?
Being an American has never been more important today and our freedoms are being stolen daily! Following the Fourth of July, we wanted to discuss freedom, the values that built America, and how to make declarations over your own life! Tuning in you will be invited to dig deep to figure out exactly what your own values, legacy, and purpose is before we discuss why our freedom is God-given. We also look at what it means to live by faith, how the past is being played out again today, why we are in a time of deception and fear, and why we should be proud to be Americans. So to find out how to use your power of discernment as a tool to make declarations over your own life, join us on the Work Smart Club podcast!Key Points From This Episode:Why being an American has never been more important. A story about Cynthia’s mother’s experience with the Nazis.The values upon which America was formed. We read a portion of the Declaration of Independence. We invite you to pray and dig deep to figure out exactly what your values are. How the same playbook of the past is being played out again today in the world. Why being an American is about standing on the side of freedom not political parties. Considering your own legacy and purpose.We invite you to read Hebrews 11 and understand what it really means to live by faith. Why this is one of the best times to be alive.Why we are in an information war and a time of deception. Why we should be proud to be Americans. Why discernment is a power tool. Why we cannot let ourselves be wrapped up in fear. The importance of the Declaration of Independence. Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:The Declaration of Independence Cynthia Howard on LinkedInWork Smart ConsultingWork Smart Club Network
EP 18: Burnout is the New Normal. Let's Get Real
06-07-2022
EP 18: Burnout is the New Normal. Let's Get Real
The subject of burnout has been ignored for far too long, and it is something that we as a society and as separate workplaces, can no longer overlook. The reality is that burnout has become normalized to a massive degree, and feelings of exhaustion and disengagement are commonplace in today's professional environments. This episode of the Work Smart Club is all about how to get clear and turn this trend around! We look at the four biggest needs of employees, and how we should be structuring jobs around these to keep the workplace a happy and healthy space. The ideas of boundaries and expectations are also covered before diving into some activities and tactics for transcending common hurdles we face in companies. Whether or not the majority of managers want to face it, there are significant consequences to trying to lead a burned-out workforce, and the sooner we all get real about identifying and changing the circumstances that cause these problems, the better for everyone!Key Points From This Episode:What burnout does to your relationships, energy levels, and professional performance. Common experiences in the digital age; the blurred line between work and home life.Feelings of belonging and manager-relations; how these influence the extent to which a company can retain employees. Workload and success; considering factors such as distractions and expectations.Thoughts on managing a burned-out team and the compounding issue of manager burnout!Quality work and progress; why these are so important to employees. Rethinking our standards around digital communication.  The power of job analysis and refining a job description for everyone's benefit.  Examples of how situations of overwork and overwhelm can lead to difficulties in the workplace.   Choices about self-care and enablement; when to speak up!Where to start with the process of reformulating our thinking about burnout. Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Cynthia Howard on LinkedInGallupWork Smart ConsultingWork Smart Club Network
EP 17: Managing Conflict in a Politically Charged Era
29-06-2022
EP 17: Managing Conflict in a Politically Charged Era
Conflict is something most people like to avoid, except we can’t. It's part of everyday life, and in truth, without conflict, new ideas would not come forth and there wouldn't be any progress. Considering the politically-charged nature of the world we are currently living in, it’s absolutely critical that people learn how to deal with conflict. In this episode, we talk about how to develop conflict skills in the workplace. Tuning in you’ll hear about how conflict allows you the opportunity to break through assumptions and bias, why it is not personal or evidence of a failure, and how it can be leveraged to increase the value of your team’s interactions. You’ll find out why you should monitor and measure the types of conflicts that you have, why conflict training should be part of the onboarding process, and how the Lean Six Sigma approach to problem-solving can provide an added benefit. In order to have new ideas, deep understanding, and fresh insights, it's critical to learn how to have healthy debates and manage conflict. So, for some profound insight into how to manage conflict and create an energized and engaged workplace, tune in today!Key Points From This Episode:How conflict is necessary for new ideas to come forth and the importance of learning how to leverage it.The politically-charged nature of the time we are living in and why it’s never been more important to learn conflict skills.The definition of conflict: the inability to agree to disagree.The benefits of conflict: an opportunity to break through assumptions and bias. Super tip: monitor and measure the types of conflicts that you have. An example of a leader who didn’t deal with conflict and the impact this had on his workplace.How to leverage conflict to increase the value of your team’s interactions. The importance of recognizing that conflict is not personal or evidence of failure.The value of conflict training as part of the onboarding process.The idea of generosity in terms of information-sharing.Bullying as a consequence of ignoring conflict and how to establish a standard of respect.Why problem-solving training goes hand-in-hand with conflict training. A quick review of the foundational approach of Lean Six Sigma for problem-solving. Why compromising is counterproductive to conflict resolution. How to establish an energized engaged workplace by having the right training.Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Cynthia Howard on LinkedInWork Smart ConsultingWork Smart Club Network
EP 16: Staying Too Long With a Passive-Aggressive Boss
22-06-2022
EP 16: Staying Too Long With a Passive-Aggressive Boss
Have you got a boss that does not yell but is aggressive in other ways? Do you dread meeting your boss? Does your boss ignore you, or is excessively critical? Are you unhappy in your workplace and feel despondent? Then today’s episode is for you! We all have to deal with terrible bosses at some point during our careers but staying in that situation is unhealthy. Staying can affect your confidence and contribution to your job. Therefore, finding ways to deal with passive-aggressive leadership or workplaces is essential to your success. In today’s show, we talk about passive-aggressive bosses and how they create unhealthy workplaces. We learn about what the differences are between passive-aggression and aggression, ways in which passive-aggressive leadership manifests, the common character traits that ‘bully bosses’ share, advice for dealing with passive-aggressive leadership, why staying in an unhealthy workplace is a bad idea, what it takes to create a healthy workplace, and much more! Tune in today to hear solutions to your boss problems with Cynthia Howard!Key Points From This Episode:The difference between passive aggression and actual aggression.Examples of how aggression and passive-aggression can manifest in the workplace.How leaders can be passive-aggressive in a team or workplace.Cynthia shares an experience she had working with a passive aggressive-leader.The impact that passive-aggressive leaders have on employees and team members.Advice for dealing with passive-aggressive people in the workplace.Character traits that passive-aggressive leaders have in common. Ways in which ‘bully bosses’ can hide their behavior and avoid repercussions. An outline of the signals that the team is being run by passive-aggressive leadership.The financial costs associated with passive-aggressive leadership or ‘bully’ culture.What it takes to create a positive workplace culture and a good leader.Some shocking data on stress, anxiety, and burnout occurring in the workplace.How there have been small changes to workplace culture.Using data to identify problems and create a healthier workplace.The foundation of creating a healthy workplace: creating trust.Why staying in an unhealthy workplace is not the right thing to do.The opportunities to grow for both the employee and the passive-aggressive boss.Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Cynthia Howard on LinkedInWork Smart ConsultingWork Smart Club Network
EP 15: There is an elephant in the room blocking your next move (get into flow and energize yourself)
01-06-2022
EP 15: There is an elephant in the room blocking your next move (get into flow and energize yourself)
Do you have trouble staying organized? Is there a lot of clutter around you? Do you end up being moody and lacking confidence sometimes? Do you procrastinate and have difficulty concentrating? Is it difficult to know what to do next? Well, today’s episode is about internal conflict and how to turn that around so you can get organized, feel happier, and get things done! The first thing you need to do is to make a list of the things that are creating internal conflict in your life and approach finding resolve for the first one. Join us as we discuss some of the causes of disharmony and internal conflict, with real-life examples and tools to open your heart as you begin to operate from a new perspective. Love leads differently to ‘let’s get this done’, so we invite you to embrace these techniques in order to put love in the driver’s seat. If you’re looking to energize yourself and get into flow, tune in today! Key Points From This Episode:Ways to deliberately engage flow, harmony, and coherence.What it looks like to be in flow (and what it looks like when you are not). How to check in with yourself to determine if you are dealing with internal conflict.Symptoms of internal conflict; the elephant in the room. Situations that can cause internal conflict.Changes you can make once you have identified the source of internal conflict in your life.How clearing internal conflict can enable us to hear God and know what we crave. A powerful first step: write down what needs to change and do something about it!Why the very first thing you should do about anything is pray about it.Why you don’t want to be an enabler and live through the conflict of it.An example of how Cynthia Howard had to resolve a problem through difficult conversations.How using your strengths can enable you to get into a flow state.The state of being known as ‘coherence’, where your nervous system is in balance.How to manage the 90-minute to two-hour rhythm of your attention span.What is needed to get into a flow: a goal, a balance between difficulty and skill, and feedback!How heart-centered emotions like love and pride can expand your perspective.Prayer as a powerful tool to get back into harmony with yourself.More tools to help you to find harmony: heart-focused breathing and heart lock-in.How leading with love differs from having a mindset of ‘let’s get this done’. How flow can lead to enjoyment and connection with those around you.Why, the more you use these techniques, the more you are filling up your resilience account.How an exhausted mindset leads to an inability to get into flow.The power of coaching to redeem years of your life.Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Cynthia Howard on LinkedInWork Smart ConsultingWork Smart Club Network
EP 14: 10 Ways to Identify Your Strengths (And What to do with Weaknesses)
25-05-2022
EP 14: 10 Ways to Identify Your Strengths (And What to do with Weaknesses)
While there is a common perception that people need to work on their weaknesses and not their strengths, today we find out why the opposite is true. In this episode, we talk about how leaders who operate out of their strengths have greater impact and greater influence than those who don’t, and how focusing on your weaknesses just leaves a person feeling tired and drained. Tuning in you’ll hear the difference between a strength and something you are good at, how you can overdo a strength and wear yourself out, and the vital skill of self-awareness for any leader. You’ll discover a series of questions that you can ask yourself to identify your strengths. Knowing your strengths not only helps you to identify the right jobs and opportunities to show up as your best self, but it also enables you to help your team to do the same. According to statistics, people who operate out of their strengths on a daily basis are six times more likely to be engaged in their work. So, to find out how to identify your strengths, what you can do about your weaknesses, and how to help your teamwork through their strengths so that they are empowered and engaged, tune in today!Key Points From This Episode:Why the common perception that people need to work on their weaknesses and not their strengths is incorrect. The difference between a strength and something you are good at. How you can overdo a strength and wear yourself out.How knowing your strengths helps you to identify the right jobs and opportunities to show up as your best self. A series of questions that you can ask yourself to identify your strengths. How leaders that do operate out of their strengths recognize that their personal energy is critical to their influence. The vital skill of self-awareness for any leader. How as you develop your awareness of your strengths, you will be more confident in helping your team to do the same.A strength-spotting worksheet and some other resources Cynthia recommends.The value of partnering up with people whose strengths and weaknesses complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses. How people will always be your greatest asset. How People who operate out of their strengths on a daily basis are six times more likely to be engaged in their work.The strength of pride and the four basic needs of people while they are at work.Why you should consider doing a strengths assessment.How leaders who operate out of their strengths are more effective.An example of some of the strengths you may possess or identify in others. Why focussing on people’s weaknesses is not the strategy you want to take. How you can get around the weaknesses by operating out of your strengths.Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Cynthia Howard on LinkedInWork Smart ConsultingWork Smart Club Network
EP 13: Stop Worrying and Pray (Tips on the Best Way To Pray)
11-05-2022
EP 13: Stop Worrying and Pray (Tips on the Best Way To Pray)
After the unprecedented events of the past two years, fear and anxiety seem to be at an all-time high. Things are changing rapidly and finding balance in our new normal is still in flux. Fear can be all-consuming. In light of this, in this episode, Cynthia opens up about the daily practice she uses to overcome anxiety: prayer. Tuning in you’ll hear about the value of knowing God’s word, how the best way to pray is to use God’s word in prayer, and an example of how you can do this. While people usually use prayer to beg and plead with God, Cynthia explains why this is not productive and how to not let your emotions overcome you.  She also explains the roles of praise and thanksgiving in prayer, before challenging us to try her prayer strategy for two weeks.  In this episode, you’ll discover the value of praying according to His will, how to determine what that is, and how you can glorify God through living out your purpose as a leader. For a detailed breakdown of how to pray and what to say when you do, tune in today!Key Points From This Episode:The prevalence of fear and anxiety in today’s world.Cynthia opens up about her daily practice for overcoming fear: prayer.The instruction of how to live every aspect of our life according to the word of God.How to find the best version of the bible for you. How the best way to pray is to use God’s word in prayer. An example of how to use God’s word in prayer.Why people usually use prayer to beg and plead and why this is not productive.How to not let your emotions overcome you.  How you build your faith through reading the word. The roles of praise and thanksgiving in prayer. Cynthia’s experiment for us: To use a prayer strategy for two weeks and where to find it. How we can ask for anything in His name. The value of praying according to His will and how this is the part where people get lost.  How you can glorify God through living out your purpose as a leader.Cynthia’s advice to listeners and leaders: Stop worrying and pray instead. Cynthia’s closing prayer.Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Cynthia Howard on LinkedInWork Smart ConsultingWork Smart Club Network